NPR Music

The Record
12:57 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

On 'The Pinkprint,' Nicki Minaj Speaks The Language Of Love

Nicki Minaj, in a still from her video for "Only."
Courtesy of the artist

The Pinkprint is just a record, as far as hip-hop is concerned. Nothing more, nothing less. But for Nicki Minaj, it's a career-defining moment. Even after she weathered a storm of rap critic scolds unhappy with her for completely crossing over the line she once straddled so well, the dance-pop successes of her last album, Roman Reloaded, overshadowed her artistic credibility. How would she bounce back? As Nicki well knows, hip-hop will only take it so far.

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Mountain Stage
9:38 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Marti Jones On Mountain Stage

Marti Jones.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Marti Jones appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. A multi-talented artist with a multi-faceted career, Jones began playing in bands in her native Ohio before issuing several solo albums. She performs frequently with her husband, Don Dixon, but has occasionally taken breaks from music to pursue her other career as a visual artist.

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Alt.Latino
9:01 am
Thu December 18, 2014

The Best Of 2014: Alt.Latino Listeners' Picks

In 2014, Alt.Latino listeners loved the L.A. band Chicano Batman.
Itzel Alejandra Martinez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 7:30 am

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Music
5:03 am
Thu December 18, 2014

The @NPRHipHop Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Kanye gets it. Here he is in December of 2005 wearing a Christmas sweater at Santa Monica High School.
Jason Merritt FilmMagic

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 10:31 am

It's the most wonderful time of the year ... that time when next day delivery charges have become the bane of your existence. Just a guess — you're not done shopping yet, are you? Allow us to ease your load a bit with 10 thoughtful ideas for the hip-hop head on your list.

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NPR Story
2:11 am
Thu December 18, 2014

How Tchaikovsky's 'Nutcracker' Became A Holiday Tradition

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 9:31 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here is a holiday tradition that seems as old as Christmas trees and mistletoe.

(SOUNDBITE OF PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY SONG, "NUTCRACKER OVERTURE")

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Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
9:57 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Highlights From Winter Jazzfest 2014

Donald Harrison performs at Winter Jazzfest 2014.
John Rogers for NPR

In the dead of January in the Northeast, New York City's Winter Jazzfest manages a minor miracle. Over the course of two marathon nights, it brings crowds in the thousands out to jam-packed theaters and clubs to see dozens of varied and sundry bands.

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Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program
9:15 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

In Memory Of 2014: Jazz Night Looks Back

Gerald Wilson, 2010.
Charley Gallay Getty Images for NAACP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:00 pm

This year saw the passing of numerous jazz legends. In Jazz Night In America's year in review, we pay tribute to bassist Charlie Haden, pianist Horace Silver and composer/bandleader Gerald Wilson, among others. We'll listen back to great live performances recorded over the past 30 years from these musicians — all from the WBGO vault — and highlight remembrances from friends and loved ones.

Mountain Stage
5:40 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Catherine Russell On Mountain Stage

Catherine Russell.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 7:39 am

Catherine Russell makes her fourth visit to Mountain Stage, recorded live in Charleston, W.Va. Even though she's widely regarded as one of the best contemporary jazz and blues vocalists working today, Russell is endowed with the kind of voice that doesn't limit her to any one genre.

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World Cafe
2:10 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

David Dye's Top 10 Albums Of 2014

Hiss Golden Messenger's Lateness Of Dancers was one of World Cafe host David Dye's favorite albums of 2014.
Courtesy of the artist

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World Cafe
12:37 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Hailu Mergia On World Cafe

Hailu Mergia & Low Mentality.
Courtesy of the artist

Hear an unusual session today with Hailu Mergia, a keyboard player and Ethiopian music star who now lives in the U.S. He came to World Cafe's attention through Awesome Tapes From Africa, the website where Brian Shimkovitz posts cassette tapes of African music he discovers. That's what led Shimkovitz to Mergia.

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